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Meet Ragù Napoletano, Neapolitan-Style Italian Meat Sauce With Pork, Beef, and Sausage

If you were to pick a president and el tigre numero uno of the ragù world, it'd be ragù Napoletano, a meaty stew with big chunks of beef, pork, and sausages simmered until fall-apart tender in a rich tomato sauce flavored with wine, onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Southern Italian olive oil. It's the precursor to Italian-American Sunday gravy: just add some meatballs, serve it with spaghetti, and you're there. It's also the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with family or friends at home. More

Upgrade Your Tamale Pie With Braised Skirt Steak and a Brown Butter Cornbread Crust (Plus: A Quick and Easy 45-Minute Skillet Version!)

Tamale pie is a dish that screams for an update. I mean, it's cornbread and chili all rolled into one! Just imagine how great it could be if we took the time to make a real, deeply flavored, meaty chili from scratch, and topped with tender, moist, crisp-edged, buttery cornbread with those chili juices seeping up into it as it bakes in the oven. That's the kind of meal I'd love to come home to after a long day out in the cold. More

The Best Pizza by the Slice in San Francisco

I moved to San Francisco from New York a few months ago, and it's been fantastic. But despite it all, there's one thing I've been missing: A good New York-style slice of pizza. And I'm not talking a sit-down-at-the-table-order-and-wait-thirty-minutes type of slice. I'm talking the kind of slice that you grab on your way out of the train station or late at night while stumbling home from the bar. The kind of slice that can be hot and in your hands for a couple of bucks and a wait of no longer than five minutes. Luckily, it turns out there is great pizza by the slice in San Francisco. You've just gotta know where to look. I visited over 30 pizzerias and tasted over 40 slices of pizza to find the best in San Francisco and the East Bay. More

The Food Lab: The Pressure Cooker Makes Short Work of This Authentic Texas Chile con Carne

Real Texas chile con carne is all about the beef and the chilies. In this version, we start with toasted whole dried chilies and puree them with broth and spices before adding beef chuck and cooking the whole thing down in a pressure cooker. 30 minutes later, you've got spoon-tender chunks of beef in a rich, complex chili-based stew. More

Step Aside, Old Chili Powder: How to Prepare Whole Dried Chilies for the Best Powder and Puree

Whether you're making real Texas-style chile con carne (no beans please!), a quick weeknight ground beef and canned bean chili, or even a vegan or vegetarian version, the best thing you can do to up your chili game is to leave those jars of pre-ground chili powder on the shelf. Starting your chili with honest to goodness real whole dried chilies will save you money while adding layer upon layer of complex flavor that you never thought was possible. Here's how to do it. More

Making Panela at a Colombian Sugar Mill is Still a Low-Tech Affair

Brown, unrefined sugar is eaten all around the world—Africa and Asia have their jaggery, Mexico has piloncillo, we have our fancy coffee shops with moist muscovado—but nobody consumes it the way Colombians do. Despite having the highest brown sugar consumption per capita in the world and a production of almost a million and a half tons per year, sugar production is still done almost 100% manually in mills like this one. For now, that is. More

The Food Lab: Introducing Lasagna Napoletana, the Meatball and Cheese-Packed Lasagna of Your Dreams

We all know about lasagna Bolognese, the Northern Italian casserole made with fresh pasta layered with cheese sauce and a slow-cooked meat sauce enriched with cream. But what if I told you that there was another lasagna out there that's every bit as decadent, involved, rib-sticking, and delicious? I introduce to you Lasagna Napoletana, a lasagna that comes stuffed with an insanely meaty and savory red sauce, small and tender meatballs with crisp edges, slices of sausage, and not one, not two, not even three, but four types of cheese. Are you ready to have your gut busted and your mind blown? More

Latin Cuisine: How to Make Colombian-Style Sopa de Albóndigas (Meatball Soup)

My wife's Aunt Gloria in Colombia makes a sopa de albóndigas—meatball soup—unlike any I've had before. In fact, according to her, it's not like any meatball soup she's had anywhere else either. This particular combination of beef with capers in broth served with fried potato sticks seems to live almost solely within the confines of her own family. This is a shame, as it's terribly delicious. More

How to Make Meatball Pizza

Growing up in New York, I'd never eaten a meatball pizza. Pizza is for eating out, meatballs are home cooking. It wasn't until I tasted the meatball pizza at Motorino and then at Best Pizza in Williamsburg that I discovered how great the idea is. But like all mashups, there's a bit of finesse to getting it right. More

In Defense of St. Louis-Style Pizza

Of the myriad styles of pizza we've got in this country, St. Louis-Style has got to be the most maligned.* Its thin, unleavened cracker crust bears no resemblance to the real dough that great pizza is built on. It gets loaded high with toppings that span all the way from edge to edge. It's so unbalanced that it has to be cut into squares just to be able to support its own weight. And let's not get started on that Provel cheese—if it can even be called cheese, am I right? And yet, ever since tasting for the first time I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I've finally figured out why I love it so much. St. Louis-style pizza is not pizza. It's a big, pizza-flavored nacho. Hear me out. More

The Food Lab: Rethinking Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff, when done right, is one of those magical dishes that acts and tastes like a stew, but is actually a quick-cooking dish in disguise. With just about 45 minutes in the kitchen, you can make a dish that comes packed with tender meat and rich, deep, rib-sticking flavors that taste like they were cooked all day. My goal: A beef stroganoff with the most tender, juicy beef around in a sauce that balances rich, browned flavors with brighter notes and most importantly, a creaminess that doesn't break or turn grainy under any circumstances. I decided to break down the process one step at a time to get there, starting with the meat. More

The Ethics of Foie Gras: New Fire for an Old Debate

A few years ago I wrote a piece called The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical which made its way around the internet and social media circles at the time. It's gotten tons of comments, most of them well-balanced, thoughtful, and conducive to open constructive debate. Some have been knee-jerk (from both sides), and some have been downright frightening (it's the only article I've ever written that has prompted actual death threats via email). News of the recent repeal of the California ban on its import and production has sparked up the debate again, so I thought it was a good time to address some of the arguments that have been brought up that I feel I haven't adequately addressed. Here they are. More

Use the Pressure Cooker to Make Full-Flavored Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) In 30 Minutes

Pho bo—Vietnamese beef noodle soup—may be more popular in the states, but its cousin pho ga, made with chicken, is easier to make, and in my book, just as tasty. What if I told you that you could make a superb bowl of Vietnamese chicken noodle soup with rich, aromatic broth and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken, all in under half an hour? The pressure cooker comes to the rescue. More

The Food Lab: How to Make Potato Leek Soup the Easy and Easier way

Today I'm going to show you how to make two different versions of the same dish. They both use the exact same ingredients to produce similar end results. The first recipe for potato leek soup is the most involved, and it'll make just about the tastiest potato leek soup you've ever had. Light, creamy, packed with flavor, and soul-satisfyingly delicious. The second takes a fraction of the time and produces a soup with very similar flavor, but a slightly inferior texture. It's still something I'd happily serve to dinner guests any night of the week. More

Shaved Beets and Radishes Pack This Winter Greens Salad With Flavor

I love roasted beets, but they take a long time to prepare. A much faster way to enjoy their natural sweetness is to slice them paper thin on a Japanese mandoline. Tossed with a simple vinaigrette, they become an ideal addition to a salad of hearty winter greens like endive, frisée, and radicchio, their sweetness complemented by the bitter bite of the greens. Some shaved Parmesan, radishes, and toasted flax seeds finish this simple salad off. More

Last Minute Holiday Menu Planning? Let Us Guide You

I know how it is. You're working your butt off trying to tie up all the loose ends so that you can enjoy a stress-free vacation at the end of the year and before you know it, it's just days before your big holiday meals and you haven't even decided whether you're cooking prime rib, turkey, or ham! Never fear, we're here to help. More

Moist and Tender Brown Butter Cornbread

@mattius. Yes you can! Peep everything ahead, but preheat the pan (and thereby brown the butter) on the day of. The butter Browns in as much time as it takes to preheat the skillet so it won't add any time to your plans.

The Best Tamale Pie With Braised Skirt Steak, Charred Corn, and Brown Butter Cornbread Crust

Well-drained frozen and thawed corn that you dry on paper towels before charring would work decently!

The Best Tamale Pie With Braised Skirt Steak, Charred Corn, and Brown Butter Cornbread Crust

What @dorque said. It's not an error, it's up there because ingredients are listed in the order they're called for, and you need to brown the butter first. A bit of it ends up staying in the skillet to brown the meat, the rest is reserved for the cornbread!

Upgrade Your Tamale Pie With Braised Skirt Steak and a Brown Butter Cornbread Crust (Plus: A Quick and Easy 45-Minute Skillet Version!)

@The True Adonis

Yeah - commercial chili powders generally have a bit of cumin, coriander, and oregano or other spices in them, though usually not in quantities great enough to really notice a lot (at least not more nationally available supermarket brands ). I prefer to leave it out of my paste so that I can add it to taste in whatever dish I'm making. It makes the paste more adaptable to different situations.

Basic Chili Paste to Replace Chili Powder

@BCinDC

Yes - that's correct! Texas chile is heavy on the chilies! That said, it's always a good idea to replace chili powder with chili paste. It's pretty much never a good idea to do the opposite!

The Best Pizza by the Slice in San Francisco

@ryanaround

I know that, but for the sake of a headline, "San Francisco" just reads better than "Bay Area." It was an editorial call.

@Benton

I see cornmeal as a kind of crutch. An easy way to add crispness without actually getting the crust RIGHT. A good crust shouldn't need it. It also tears up your mouth something fierce.

@ryuthrostuff

I'm pretty sure I specifically mentioned that the pesto shouldn't have been there. As for the tomatoes, I mean tomato sauce, not sliced tomatoes if that wasn't clear. I also to find a long island grandma slice to have a crust that's something like a thin focaccia but a little chewier. I'm pretty sure that the majority of grandma slices I've had in NYC are also fresh mozz, not low moisture mozz, though the latter is not uncommon either. I'm also not familiar with "assloads of parmesan." Perhaps a scattering of romano, but neither seems like it is essential to the style. What is your yardstick here? I've eaten a lot of grandma slices in my day!

@Snowmann

My notes for Escape From NY say:

"Ruh roh. Big slices, lots of browned cheese. Decent bottom crust. Nice crisp/chew. Terribly doughy cornicione. Super cooked tasting sauce and cheapo cheese. Second thought crust is too thick. "

But I like the movie :)

@mozart23

Didn't make it to South Bay!

Recipe Update: Check Out the Latest Versions of Our Chili Recipes

@Whashomatic

You can use MSG but fish sauce has more than just MSG. It is also a concentrated source of inosinic acid which augments the effect of MSG.

Fish sauce is never supposed to taste fishy, even in traditional applications. It's meant to taste savory, which is exactly what it does here. (Also, I wouldn't call two tablespoons a "tiny drizzle"!)

The Best Pizza by the Slice in San Francisco

@ossonucco

Love UPN but if I started giving honorable entire to all the Graf whole pie places here this list would be VERY long. But I'll work on an updated best pies lost soon!

@just-eat-it

That was my problem with Gioia too. Bland crust. Slicer almost made the cut but was edged out by some others.

@fry

Which one? Many of these place I visited multiethnic times KF I was worried it was a fluke. I'd be interested to know!

@onceinDC

Not in NY it isn't. Saying "gimme a slice" means a plain slice with cheese, sauce, and no other toppings. For other stuff you'd specify.

The Best Pizza by the Slice in San Francisco

Aw man, I must have just missed Buma's

Oh well, guess it's time to start "researching" again...

And yes, Whole Foods does a surprisingly solid slice! Better than most of the slice shops around!

1-Hour Pressure-Cooker Texas-Style Chile Con Carne

@chrisdapos

It'd work, but you'd need to soak the beans overnight and add about an extra quart of liquird for a pound of beans.

@Tkocareli

Flavor is pretty similar actually. I migh even like ths version better.

@OnceinDC

Amazon if your frend!

@Robis

It shold atualy work at pretty much the same rte ina 12psi cooker.Maybe an extra few minutes. But 've cooked tis on my stovetop coker wth abusted jiggler and it worked fine. Who knows what pressure that thing cooks at.

@johnnymitchell

Yes!

@CarterB

It's approximate. Brown whatever fits in the pot in a single layer!

The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat

Sorry for typos. Tiny phone keyboard.

The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat

@Scott569

I checked the link. Chef John says he got the trick from Americas Test Kitchen, who in turn got it from me while I worked there! Serious Eats was the first tce to publish the method in relation to chicken wings, but t also works with whole turkeys and chickens.

Anyhow, yeah, these things come full circle and it's always a good idea to give credit to the original source, or at the very least he source you got it from. In this case, the original source was my own research and article - the one I ljnked to in the story! Good to see he method getting around. Sign that it works :)

Hot and Numbing Xi'an Style Oven-Fried Chicken Wings

Oh geez, I'm getting all confused this morning. I edited that because of @rayst58's question, but it was right all along. It should be a tablespoon total, 1 teaspoon in each batch. I'll fix AGAIN

Hot and Numbing Xi'an Style Oven-Fried Chicken Wings

@Suzzanne

No, it's 1 tablespoon. Why do you ask?

And no, the wings don't need to be rinsed before baking!

The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat

@anaya

Yes, raises! I fixed that.

Upgrade Your Potato Skins With Beer-Cooked Onions, Beer-Simmered Brats, Beer Cheese, and Bacon

So excited to have you here Morgan. I'm looking forward to getting fatter with you :)

Hot and Numbing Xi'an Style Oven-Fried Chicken Wings

@lynnieBNC

No need.

@Rayst58

1 TBSP!

The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat

@hungryGrad

That's my error: Baking powder is slightly higher than neutral pH. Higher pH = better browning. I'll fix that.

The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat

@ringmaster

Just so you don't get disappointed, they aren't quite like the ones at mission chinese. Similar heat and dry spices, but different flavor!

1-Hour Pressure-Cooker Texas-Style Chile Con Carne

@Doc Sportello

No, dried chilies! "Fresh" is a flavor note to differentiate from "hot" or "rich fruity," which are the two categories that follow. The recipe only calls for dried chilies!

Basic Chili Paste to Replace Chili Powder

@Waffle42

Oops, my bad. Yield was off.

Step Aside, Old Chili Powder: How to Prepare Whole Dried Chilies for the Best Powder and Puree

@mosemose

Frying works! It's harder to make in advance though.

@tzyyyih

Amazon!

@Veganwithayoyo

Nope, still use that for certain recipes. But this is meant to be a very basic puree that subs for chili powder. You can always introduce those other flavors as desired or as recipes call for it.

Step Aside, Old Chili Powder: How to Prepare Whole Dried Chilies for the Best Powder and Puree

@Adam

Good point - I'll add it into the insturctions!

@TommiFromKiel

The heat is actually mostly in the ribs actually! But typically, chili powder is not hot at all, so I tried to keep this recipe pretty mild as well, so that it can be used as a substitute. If you like more heat, by all means use the ribs or seeds!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@EXNyerinSF

Seeing this is the year of Back to the Future II, there will be no dust cover (those were from before we invented dust-proof paper). The eggs are not a for-sure thing though.

@Teachertalk

Wow, that's a surprise to me that it's already available! But, well, thanks for ordering! I'll make an official announcement for pre-order when whatever legal entity is supposed to say it's OK says it's OK :)

And I absolutely DO want your opinions. I'm in no way planning on designing anything by committee, but the Serious Eats community plays such a vital role in what I do, of COURSE I want to hear some ideas!

I'm not married to the eggs, though neither the veg wellington nor the cup noodles are in the book, so those can't be on the cover (there's not a huge amount of overlap between what's in the book and what's on the site - I wanted to make sure that when you buy the book you are really paying for something with great value).

@midtown Jimmi

Yes, I'd like for there to be one too! It depends on a number of factors, but I'll be advocating for it!

@santiago Cardona

Indeed. There's a big section on them!

@Floudas

Actually, it's going to be about 80% brand new material. Tons and tons of new, never-before-published recipes, photos, charts, graphs, experiments, etc. Should be fun!

@lemonfair

The point you make about "there's nothing that says recipe" on the cover is one I've been thinking about a lot, though the book is between 900 and 1,000 pages with about 300 recipes, so it's actually more science/technique/writing than it is strictly recipes, so I have to find some kind of balance. Thanks for the ideas though!

@Scott569

Usefulness and longevity is my first priority. It's actually a sewn binding, but one specifically designed to be able to be opened flat. You'll be able to put it on a stand or flat on your countertop and press it open without ruining the binding!

@crazckfish

Actually most of those recipes are not in the book! Though I do get your point. I have been thinking about other process-type shots that combine the structured testing element with something that's just more delicious than eggs, but really, eggs are so simple-yet-complex that, well, I think they represent what I do best. At least for me. Hmm.

@EXNyerInSF

The thing is, many many cookbooks have a drool-worthy picture on the cover. What I really want to show is that it's more than just recipes inside: it's technique and process and a manual for how to create the food you want to create. I'm not positive eggs is the right way to do that yet, but a single picture sells good food, and this book is supposed to be more than just that.

Argh. Still need to work on it.

P.S. "Better Home Cooking Through Science" is a play on the phrase "Better living through X," where "X" is usually some science-based term like "science" or "chemistry" or "physics," etc. It's a pretty common expression in the English vernacular.

How to Brown Butter

@selyar

It really depends on the exact recipe, but for fiddly things like cookies and cakes, you'd probably want to add back about 12 to 15% water by weight to the butter.

The Serious Eats Guide To Pizza In Naples

A few months ago, my wife and I spent all of 24 hours in Naples on our way home from Sicily. It was probably the second-most pizza-packed 24 hours of my life (the first being when I took my Colombian brother-in-law on a whirlwind pizza tour of New York). We hit over a half dozen pizzerias over lunch alone, and a few more for dinner. Here now, I present to you the Serious Eats guide to Eating Pizza in Naples. More

Video: Serious Eats Cooks Peking Duck At Buddakan

Ever made a traditional Peking duck? Turns out it's a pretty involved process, requiring not only multiple steps but multiple days, cooking apparatuses, and spices. The end result: an incredibly crispy, juicy bird that's seriously delicious. Come along with Serious Eats's own Carey Jones as she learns how to make Peking Duck. Chef Brian Ray of Buddakan gives us the grand tour. More

60+ Holiday Snacks in 20 Minutes Or Less

Uh oh. The buzzer rings. Friends are coming over to spread holiday cheer and you panic. Serve frozen dumplings...again?! You can do better than that. Print out this list of easy-to-assemble, stress-free, mostly-sub-20-minutes-to-prepare munchies and paste it to the fridge. Here are 60+ dips, hors d'oeuvres, small bites, toasty snacks, sweet nibbles, appetizers, and more festive munchies to prepare in a snap. More

30 Cookie Recipes from the 2011 Serious Eats Cookie Swap

The Serious Eats Cookie Swap has become an annual tradition. We break out the Duane Reade tinsel and twinkle lights, and are forced to do a major office detox to make room for cookies. Many, many cookies. (OK, maybe a dozen doughnuts snuck in this year too). It was our third year swapping, and as per tradition, the tables were covered with butter-laden treats. Our NYC-based contributors really pulled out their ninja baking skills. Get all the recipes here. More

Serious Eats' Bacon Banh Mi

Our recipe for Bacon Banh Mi brings our favorite Vietnamese sandwich home, swapping out the usual array of cold cuts and charcuterie for bacon but staying true to the other elements that make this sandwich so balanced and irresistible. More

My All-Pie Thanksgiving Fantasy

When you think about Thanksgiving and you think about various elements of the Thanksgiving meal, it seems like you're just waiting through the big meal to get to the pie. I really believe this, which is why I always fantasized about an all-pie Thanksgiving. (Anyone with me on this?) At an editorial meeting about a month ago, we were at the office talking about Thanksgiving coverage and I shared this fantasy with the team. Knowing how much I adore and obsess over pie, the Serious Eats editors weren't too shocked, so we did the only thing we know how to do: make it happen. More

BraveTart: Make Your Own 3 Musketeers

Urban legend has it that some industrial candy snafu botched the names of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The tale has a certain logic. 3 Musketeers doesn't have three ingredients but Milky Way does. And the very name Milky Way recalls the smooth, uninterrupted creaminess found in 3 Musketeers. Those kinds of wonky urban legends ran amok in the eighties, but we have the internet now, so let's clear this stuff up. It's not a tasty tabloid tale of "Switched at Birth!" but rather "Murder, She Wrote." More

BraveTart: Make Your Own (Better) Soft Batch Cookies

When you first joined me in my quest to unlock the secrets of culinary time travel, I told you it would take equal parts science and magic to make the foods that could power the flux capacitor of the mind. I said, "leave the DeLorean in the garage, preheat your oven to one point twenty one gigawatts, and rev that Kitchen Aid to eighty eight mph. We're going back to the Eighties." And we did. But while there, what if some careless action altered our timeline? Could we, like Marty McFly, inadvertently create an alternate universe? One where the Keebler Soft Batch Cookie tastes freaking delicious? Friends, this isn't speculation. I have done such a thing. More

Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

This "Memphis-style" is my favorite to make at home—it takes the aspects of sweet tomato-based sauces I grew up on, but by dialing back the sugar and amping up the vinegar, creates a sauce where seasonings and spice are more defined and achieves a pleasing balance between the main defining aspects of a barbecue sauce. More

Boston: Fried Ipswich Clams at B&G Oysters

These are the only fancy-restaurant fried clams I think are really worth the cash ($14 half/$26 full). That they start with Ipswich bellies makes all the difference; these juicy, sweet, whole-belly behemoths are harvested from the mud flats off Ipswich, where experts claim that the particularly nutrient-rich soil gives the bivalves their superior, almost nutty flavor. More

Boston: Tamarind Bay's Lalla Musa Dal

As food aesthetics go, the murky, rust-brown, pebbly lalla musa dal at Tamarind Bay Coastal Kitchen can't compare to the restaurant's other specialties like the fennel cream-sauced cauliflower dumplings or the spiced lobster tail. But famed Indian chefs like Julie Sahni don't consider this dish "the most exquisite of all dal preparations" for nothing, and speaking in terms of decadence, it outclasses the rest by a long shot. More

Guide to Grilling: Planking

For all that I've grilled (150-plus recipes and counting), there's always plenty of uncharted territory. One of those areas: planking. There aren't usually many planking recipes in cookbooks, save the ubiquitous planked salmon. Put simply, planking is cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank's natural flavors. More

How to Make Bagels at Home

I don't use the word magical lightly, but there really is something wondrous about making bagels at home. Maybe it's the shape. I think most everyone understands a loaf of bread, but the round shape with a hole ... well, it seems like a whole lot more work than simply plopping some dough in a loaf pan. But it's not. Really. Try making just one batch of these, and I'm sure you'll have the process down pat. Put on your sorcerer's robe and follow along! More